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Updates from the Centre for Public Authority and International Development 

Latest Stories


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Understanding Public Authority and Ebola 

October 05, 2019

Researchers at the Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) are getting their hands dirty establishing how forms of public authority shape the ability to manage effective public health responses.

Focusing on Ebola, CPAID researchers are digging into the political, social and economic circumstances under which outbreaks of disease spread and can be contained.

By investigating how public authority shapes governance in regions affected by the virus, the research better equip policymakers to manage health responses based on knowledge of local power relations and popular social attitudes.

Click here for details.


Tim Africa Summit

CPAID Annual Meeting Draws Experts and Researchers from Across the World

October 02, 2019

Experts and researchers from across the world affiliated with CPAID were at LSE for the annual meeting from 1–2 October 2019.

This year’s annual meeting blended presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions to strengthen knowledge about how the governance of societies in impoverished, marginal and/or conflict affected places actually functions.

Presentation themes covered included a range of topics in relation to public authority, including religion, political finance, health, land, development agencies, justice and  and the governance of nature.

If you are interested in participating in CPAID activities, register for the CPAID seminars where these conversations continue.


Journal Publications 

June 01, 2019

Taylor & Francis has published findings of Ebola research undertaken by CPAID researchers. 

Focusing on a village in Sierra Leone, Melissa Parker, Tommy Matthew Hanson, Ahmed Vandi Lawrence, Sao Babawo and Tim Allen analysed what happened when “staff, stuff, space, and systems” were absent.

They found that mutuality between neighbours, linked to secret societies, necessitated collective care for infected loved ones, irrespective of the risks. Thus practical learning was quick, and the numbers recovering were reported to be higher among people treated in hidden locations, compared to those taken to Ebola Treatment Centres.

These ground-breaking findings challenge positive post-Ebola narratives about international aid and military deployment. The authors report that a morally appropriate people’s science emerged under the radar of external scrutiny, including that of a paramount chief. Joe Trapido has reviewed the paper in The Lancet.

Find out what CPAID researchers have been up to lately.


Important Briefings on Ebola

August 01, 2019

CPAID Researchers have been contributing to expert advisory groups for the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP), a partnership between the Institute of Development Studies and Anthrologica with support from UNICEF, the Wellcome Trust, DFID and others:

  • Elizabeth Storer and Georgina Pearson summarise key considerations concerning cross-border dynamics and health structures and behaviours in West Nile sub-region, Uganda.
  • Adrian Garside details the socio-cultural and socio-economic significance of bushmeat amongst at risk communities and perceived risks of Ebola transmission through bushmeat.
  • Hugh Lamarque summarises key considerations concerning cross-border dynamics between Rwanda and the DRC.
  • David Peyton digests key considerations about the social, political and economic context of Goma (DRC) by March 2019.
  • Juliet Bedford condenses key considerations about the context of North Kivu province (DRC) by August 2018.

Researchers present papers at African Studies Conference 2018

Members of the CPAID team gathered in Birmingham, UK last week to present their research papers at the biennial conference of the African Studies Association.

Grace Akello, Julian Hopwood, Jonah Lipton, Anna MacDonald, Kate Meagher, Melissa Parker, Naomi Pendle and Holly Porter presented their papers and participated in various workshops at the conference, which was held over 11-13 September 2018 at the University of Birmingham.

 The conference celebrated the rich diversity and inter-disciplinary nature of the study of Africa and connected academics, policy makers and practitioners working in and on the continent.

 The next ASAUK Conference will take place at Cardiff University in September 2020. 

Take a look at the ASAUK18 Programme. 





CPAID hosts capacity-building workshop in Mombasa, Kenya

On 6-8 September 2018, CPAID hosted a capacity-building workshop in Mombasa, Kenya. Researchers from the DRC, Uganda, the UK, and South Sudan shared their research skills during the three-day workshop and set goals for CPAID’s capacity-building strategy. A range of masterclasses were held covering writing research articles and blogs; as well as using Twitter to disseminate research.

The workshop ran alongside the Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) Forum which brought together alumni from across the African continent to inspire current and future African leaders. Both CPAID and PfAL are hosted at the LSE Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. 

Read our tweets about the workshop.   


LSEIQ website

CPAID researchers share expertise in LSE IQ Podcast

CPAID Investigator Dr Duncan Green and FLCA Visiting Professor Dr Grace Akello recently participated in LSE IQ's monthly podcast. Aired on 3 July 2018, Episode 16, Do we need to rethink foreign aid? discusses the politics of foreign aid.

The episode examines the role of humanitarian and development assistance despite an increasingly sceptical political environment. Our researchers were featured alongside Rafat Ali Al-Akhali from the Blavatnik School of Government and Dr Ryan Jablonski from LSE's Department of Government.

Listen to the segment.





Centre for Public Authority and International Development hosts annual research workshop in Ghent, Belgium

On 22-23 May 2018, CPAID hosted its annual research workshop at the University of Ghent, Belgium.

The workshop brought together researchers from the London School of Economics, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Conflict Research Group at the University of Ghent in Belgium and the Social Science Research Council in New York. 

This was the second annual 2-day workshop held by the ESRC-funded Centre, which conducts research on governance in fragile areas in Africa. Researchers presented their research agendas for the next five years and discussed the strategy and direction of the centre. The centre will be hosted at the LSE Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa for the next five years and will promote new ways of thinking about public authority, and translate the findings into more effective policy responses. 

Read Duncan Green’s review of the workshop. 



Profile Photo of Naomi Pendle

CPAID researcher participates in DFID workshop in Juba, South Sudan 

Naomi Pendle shared her research findings at a workshop in Juba, South Sudan, organised by the UK’s Department for International Development.

The workshop was intended for DFID to share ideas about their future plans for livelihoods and conflict mitigation programming. Dr Pendle’s research shared at the workshop will be used to inform policy development, which is still in the early stages of planning.  




Michaelmas Term 2017


Patricia Stys headshot

CPAID researcher presents to Australia’s Department of Defence

In December 2017, Patrcyja Stys was invited to present her research to Australia’s Department of Defence, by the Defence, Science and Technology Group.

Dr Stys, alongside Dr Johan Koskinen of University of Manchester discussed transborder trade networks, historical migration patterns, and networked conflict dynamics in Africa’s Great Lakes Region.  

The presentation attempted to redirect Australian DoD’s focus on material resources as the cause of conflict by emphasising unresolved, historically-rooted tensions and their political instrumentalisation in context – linking what has been coined as ’the local’ to wider national and regional developments.

Dr Stys, Dr Koskinen, and present colleagues then discussed the comparability of the Central African case and its dynamics to those of Timore Leste and Indonesia, DoD’s primary concern.





Centre for Public Authority and International Development hosts first research workshop 

On 17-18 October 2017, the Centre hosted its first workshop for all the affiliated researchers working on its activities.

The 2-day event hosted at LSE was attended by 25 researchers and partners from various institutions, including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Social Science Research Council in New York and University of Ghent in Belgium.  

The workshop brought these researchers together to develop their research agendas and begin their long-term project implementation and collaboration building.

Over the next five years, CPAID, an ESRC-funded project launched in April 2017, will produce high-quality research on governance in fragile conflict-affected areas in Africa. 

Visit or follow @CPAID_LSE to stay updated. 



Summer Term 2017


Profile photo of researcher Tatiana Carayannis

CPAID co-investigator briefs the UN on Genocide Prevention

On 16 June 2017, CPAID co-investigator Tatiana Carayannis briefed the Office of the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.

The discussion was held in advance of the Special Adviser, Adama Dieng’s, trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Carayannis advised on the developments and risks in the area, emphasising the importance of history in understanding the tragic recent events in the Kasai provinces, but also stressing the need for attention to concerning trends in other provinces. 

Carayannis is the director of the Social Science Research Council’s Understanding Violent Conflict program and a co-investigator here at the Centre for Public Authority and International Development.

Read the Special Adviser’s statement on his trip to the DRC.